Xbox's Phil Spencer Discusses Backwards Compatibility, OS X App, and More

Xbox's Phil Spencer Discusses Backwards Compatibility, OS X App, and More

Phil Spencer - head of Microsoft's Xbox division - took to Twitter late Saturday night to answer fans' burning queries, just as he likes to from time to time. Chief among those was his commitment to make every possible first-party Xbox 360 game backwards compatible for the current-gen Xbox One.

The company added another 16 Xbox 360 titles - including popular candidates such as Halo: Reach and Braid - to the list of backwards compatible games last week, and Spencer reiterated that new backwards compatible games will continue to be released monthly but he couldn't confirm any particular game for the moment.

It seems backwards compatibility has been really successful with long-time fans of the company's video gaming products. Xbox Live's director of programming Larry Hyrb wrote on Thursday Xbox One owners had clocked more than 9 million hours playing Xbox 360 games on their Xbox One system since the feature became available on November 12.

And fans were eager to discuss backwards compatibility for the original Xbox as well with the Xbox chief, who noted it wouldn't be "easy" to figure out how achievements would work in that case.

Replying to a gamer's concern for an Xbox app for OS X, Spencer said that he honestly hasn't had a lot of requests. He advised the user to "put it up on and let's see how many people are interested". For what it's worth, a request for the same has been up on the Xbox Feedback forums since June this year, and has managed to pick up just over 800 votes in the time since then.

He also fielded questions on Titanfall 2, but refused to comment on any specifics - whether the game would be an Xbox One exclusive, what its release date would be - saying he "just can't". But he was quick to note that Azure cloud services remain available for anyone to use, insofar as "even other platform's exclusives".

Lastly, Spencer also commented on when gamers could expect to play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and Killer Instinct on the PC, putting their release not "too far in 2016".

Sci-fi third-person shooter Gears of War first saw release on the Xbox 360 in 2006, and has gone on to become the sixth best-selling game on its launch console. In August this year, Microsoft released a remastered version of the game for Xbox One and promised a PC port is on its way.

2013's Killer Instinct was a reboot of the franchise - a one-on-one fighting game that borrows from Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat - and a launch title for Xbox One.


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Akhil Arora covers entertainment for Gadgets 360, interviewing stars such as Christian Bale and Anurag Kashyap, covering series premieres, product and service launches across the globe, and looking at American blockbusters and Indian dramas from a global socio-political and feminist perspective. As a Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic, Akhil has reviewed over 150 movies and TV shows in over half a decade at Gadgets 360. When he is not completely caught up with new film and TV releases, Akhil ...More
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